Our Efforts in the News

Below, find some of the recent media about the Joyful Heart Foundation's efforts to end the rape kit backlog in the news. For even more about our work in the news, visit joyfulheartfoundation.org.

For media inquiries, email media@endthebacklog.org.

Advocates praise Senate bill on sexual assault victims' rights

By Nicholas Kristof
May 14, 2016
Read the article

Advocates for victims of sexual assault on Tuesday praised the Senate’s unanimous approval of a bill that would establish a set of rights for victims, including the right to be informed of the results of forensic tests and to have evidence preserved...

Advocates said that more work remained, with hundreds of thousands of rape kits — collections of evidence from assaults — still untested in police stations and crime laboratories across the country.


The story behind the first rape kit

November 21, 2015
Read the article

 First used in Illinois and then across the country, rape kits haven't had [Louis Vitullo's] name attached to them in decades. But they are making headlines as hundreds of thousands of them are being discovered backlogged, untested and, in some cases, destroyed. New reports about rape kits crop up in the media each week.


White House, NYC prosecutor pledge $79 million to test rape kits

The Associated Press
September 10, 2015
Read the article

An estimated 70,000 rape kits sitting in laboratories and evidence collection rooms across the country will be tested with a combined $79 million in federal and New York City funds designed to cut the backlog of untested DNA evidence in 27 states, officials announced Thursday. 

"There's nothing more consequential than giving a woman back her life," said Vice President Joe Biden, after touring the New York City medical examiner's testing lab with Attorney General Loretta Lynch, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. and "Law & Order: SVU" actress Mariska Hargitay.


Tens of thousands of rape kits go untested across USA

By Steve Reilly
July 16, 2015
Read the article

A USA TODAY Media Network investigation identified tens of thousands of sexual assault evidence kits never tested by police.

In the most detailed nationwide inventory of untested rape kits ever, USA TODAY and journalists from more than 75 Gannett newspapers and TEGNA TV stations have found at least 70,000 neglected kits in an open-records campaign covering 1,000-plus police agencies – and counting. Despite its scope, the agency-by-agency count covers a fraction of the nation's 18,000 police departments, suggesting the number of untested rape kits reaches into the hundreds of thousands.


Will new focus on rape kit tests put thousands behind bars?

By Sharon Cohen
May 30, 2015
Read the article

The evidence piled up for years, abandoned in police property rooms, warehouses and crime labs. Now, tens of thousands of sexual assault kits are giving up their secrets — and rapists who've long remained free may finally face justice.

A dramatic shift is taking hold across the country as police and prosecutors scramble to process these kits and use DNA matches to track down sexual predators, many of whom attacked more women while evidence of their crimes languished in storage. Lawmakers, meanwhile, are proposing reforms to ensure this doesn't happen again.


keep up with backlog news

END THE BACKLOG is a JOYFUL HEART FOUNDATION initiative and a proud supporter of